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Old 04-06-2015, 04:38 PM   #21
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"Normal" for me has always been 55...that's when I reach 35 years of service and would have maxed out on the pension formula. However, I'm leaving 1 year early at 54 as I am exercising an option to buy the last year of pension service, and thereby, avoiding any penalty.
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Old 04-06-2015, 07:46 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kzodave View Post
To complete the race-work/retirement analogy, think of the finish line as that date which you have sufficient resources to meet your lifetime financial needs without continuing to work.


Retiring "early" would simply mean retiring before you can meet your financial needs.
One's "lifetime financial needs" can vary by individual. Some people downsize their financial needs in order to retire "early."

Do you want to travel the world, own big boats, large or multiple residences, engage in expensive hobbies, give money to children, etc? ... or are you happy spending time at home, puttering in the yard or workshop, taking a lot of local & weekend trips in the USA, fishing in a local pond or river instead of big game saltwater fishing, downsize your house, etc.

I could have worked longer & had more money to do certain things and/or live a certain lifestyle ... retiring before age 50 was more important to me. I was very good at what I did, but really never had any passion for it.

In any case, I would call "early retirement" as anything before the age of about 60 where one no longer has to be actively engaged in being an employee or being a business-owner whose business requires more than two days per week of their time.
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Old 04-07-2015, 12:24 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by kzodave View Post
Maybe I'm just playing a semantics game in my head, but this morning driving to work I had a game-changing thought.....

What does it mean to retire early? Pre-65 years of age? I think not.

Think about your working years as a race. Do you run the race for a determined amount of time (until 65 yo), or do you run until you get to the finish line? The finish line isn't painted on the track where you are when the buzzer sounds....it's painted at the beginning of the race. If you finish the race in 30 minutes you stop. You didn't finish "early".

To complete the race-work/retirement analogy, think of the finish line as that date which you have sufficient resources to meet your lifetime financial needs without continuing to work. Retiring "early" would simply mean retiring before you can meet your financial needs. Granted, there are some people who want to run to see how far they can run, and they will continue to work and build a big pot of money. However, for me, I hate running.

I'm either at, or very near the finish line.....not "early", just before a lot of other people running slower.
When I was in my 30s and early 40s, I thought I'd be able to retire some time in my early 50s. But when my ESOP began to explode in value in my early 40s, my timetable greatly accelerated and things fell into place a lot sooner than I had anticipated. To compare that to your race analogy, I was running in that race and an unexpected, large tailwind hit my back, enabling me to reach that finish line nearly 10 years sooner, at age 45.
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Retired in late 2008 at age 45. Cashed in company stock, bought a lot of shares in a big bond fund and am living nicely off its dividends. IRA, SS, and a pension await me at age 60 and later. No kids, no debts.

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Old 04-07-2015, 06:18 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kzodave View Post
Maybe I'm just playing a semantics game in my head, but this morning driving to work I had a game-changing thought.....

What does it mean to retire early? Pre-65 years of age? I think not.

Think about your working years as a race. Do you run the race for a determined amount of time (until 65 yo), or do you run until you get to the finish line? The finish line isn't painted on the track where you are when the buzzer sounds....it's painted at the beginning of the race. If you finish the race in 30 minutes you stop. You didn't finish "early".

To complete the race-work/retirement analogy, think of the finish line as that date which you have sufficient resources to meet your lifetime financial needs without continuing to work. Retiring "early" would simply mean retiring before you can meet your financial needs. Granted, there are some people who want to run to see how far they can run, and they will continue to work and build a big pot of money. However, for me, I hate running.

I'm either at, or very near the finish line.....not "early", just before a lot of other people running slower.
Interesting thoughts, and something I may have pondered on my way to work as well.

But to me, "early" has always been vs. time and the standard averages of those who retire at a normal age. Even the pension I received was an "early retirement package".

If you equate the distance a runner takes, that sounds like the FI goal. And yes, some people stick around past the FI finish line for a victory lap or two or three. Others go "early", before the FI finish line for a variety of reasons. They may not understand the 4% SWD, may not believe it, may think they can live on 40% of their working income, etc. They are similar to the runner, who takes a short cut on the race, or gets a ride for a mile or two.

Anyway, certainly different perspectives depending on what you are and what you think. Good luck getting to whatever your goal is.
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Old 04-07-2015, 06:59 AM   #25
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This is starting to sound like work
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Old 04-07-2015, 09:07 AM   #26
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Everyone, thanks for the feedback and discussion on my thoughts. It's great to see the diversity of mindset/thinking. Also, thanks for the "no thinking while driving to work" advice....I think the best way to accomplish this might be to not drive to work anymore!
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Old 11-23-2017, 07:27 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by jollystomper View Post
I agree with this. Once I hit FI, I really began looking at if I wanted to RE at that point. But due to the finding enjoyment and flexibility in my job, I am still planning to work for another 2 years - unless Megacorp decides otherwise. One could argue that I have in a sense 'early retired', as I am no long seeking the "rat race' rewards of salary increases, promotions, personal contentions, and working long hours to impress others.

I have learned not to look at work as a race, but to look at life as a growing "tree", with "work/career" being one set of branches. My career "branches" may have stopped growing by my choice, but there are plenty of relationship/hobby/activity branches than I will continue to feed and grow as long as the tree is alive.


I love your tree analogy. That is exactly where Iím at now ( most days ).
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